t seems that the economy is playing havoc abroad as well as the United States.
According to the British Beer Pub Association alcohol consumption (including beer consumption) is almost at a 10 year low and has dropped 2.4 percent since 2004. They are asking for a freeze on beer taxes due to the economy and a decline in beer consumption.
To make matters worse, men between the ages of 16 and 24 (yes, the drinking age is not 21 in the UK) drinking 21 units or more, has dropped from a 2005 high of 32 percent to a 2011 low of 21 percent. Women in the same age bracket, but drinking less at 14 units, had similar declines, from 28 percent to 18 percent.
According to Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, "total alcohol consumption is now 13 per cent lower per head than in 2004, when this trend began. The Government’s own surveys show the same trends, with good progress in reducing drinking above recommended guidelines."
Here is an excerpt from their report which you can read here:
New figures for UK alcohol consumption in 2011 show that the amount Britons drink has fallen yet again – for the fifth year out of the past seven. Consumption per head is now 13 per cent lower than it was in 2004 when the current trend began, says the British Beer & Pub Association, which has compiled the new data based on HMRC alcohol tax returns (as reported is yesterday’s Sunday times)
The figures confirm trends unveiled yesterday by the Office of National Statistics, which also show that binge drinking is falling across all categories of drinkers, by sex and age. Drinking above weekly guidelines among young men, for example, is down from 32 per cent to 21 per cent compared with five years ago.
With the Government poised to launch its new alcohol strategy, the BBPA is urging all policy-makers to ensure that new initiatives to tackle alcohol misuse are targeted and based on the facts. With beer sales down 3.4 per cent in 2011, it is no time for another sharp rise in the tax on beer, says the BBPA – as the Government intends in the Budget. And alongside a duty freeze, with beer’s share of alcohol sales falling in favour of stronger drinks, it is time to review the way alcohol is taxed.
I think it is time for a patriotic movement to drink beer which will generate not only federal but state taxes. Do like the smart politicians who repealed prohibition did... Let beer create a profit center and get out of this "worst recession since the Great Depression."